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Operation Clear Track aims to educate people about staying away from railroad tracks and other issues of railroad safety.

The Delaware State Police is joining forces with law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Canada for “Operation Clear Track” — the single largest rail-safety law-enforcement initiative in North America.

Coordinated by Amtrak, Operation Lifesaver Inc. and Operation Lifesaver Canada, Operation Clear Track aims to reduce the number of railway crossing and trespassing incidents in the U.S. and Canada — incidents that seriously injure or kill more than 2,100 people each year. The event is held during the annual observance of Rail Safety Week, Sept. 21-27.

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Among Operation Clear Track's educational focuses is teaching people how to safely cross at railroad grade crossings.

“The goal of Operation Clear Track and Rail Safety Week is to raise awareness of the importance of safe behavior near tracks and trains, in support of OLI’s mission to save lives,” said Operation Lifesaver Inc. Executive Director Rachel Maleh.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, law enforcement agencies will be participating in a virtual Operation Clear Track event this year. Police and sheriff departments across North America will be promoting rail safety through social media messages, by sharing Operation Lifesaver’s #STOPTrackTragedies public service announcements and other videos, and by posting other rail safety information to their department websites.

Organizers urged people to follow these safety tips:

• Never walk, run, play or take pictures on the railroad right-of-way. If you are on or near the tracks, you are trespassing on private property and breaking the law.

• Never attempt to outrun an approaching train. It can take a train a mile or more to stop.

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People may be unaware that being on or next to railroad tracks generally qualifies as trespassing. Being there also poses a danger to anyone getting close.

• If you’re standing on the train tracks, you may not hear or feel an oncoming train in time to get away safely.

• Only cross the tracks at designated public crossings.

• Never drive or walk around lowered grade crossing gates.

• Never begin to drive across the tracks unless you can get all the way across.

• Always call the Emergency Notification System (ENS) number 24 hours a day to report problems or obstructions at the crossing. Look for the number on the blue sign near the crossing or on the cross-buck.

• Always know that the average train is 3 feet wider than the track on each side.

• Always slow down and stop your vehicle prior to train tracks when lights begin to flash.

For more information about Rail Safety Week, Operation Clear Track and other rail-safety initiatives and tips, visit www.oli.org.